WXXI AM News

Hélène Biandudi Hofer

Need to Know Host

Hélène Biandudi Hofer is host and producer of WXXI TV's Need to Know, an award-winning, half-hour weekly news and public affairs program. Hélène joined the station in September 2010 as the host of All Things Considered.

Before moving to Rochester, Hélène worked at the CBS Primetime show 48 Hours Mystery in New York City. While at CBS she contributed to several documentary specials for the network including the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the tribute to news icon Walter Cronkite, the inauguration of Barack Obama and the CBS/VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out program.

Hélène is a graduate of New York University’s Broadcast Journalism program. After graduation, she returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an associate producer for WBNS-TV.

Ways to Connect

For years Rochester resident Deborah Haber wanted to find a way to tell her parent’s story. Eventually she did, on a theatrical stage. It’s a story of one of the darkest times in world history. It’s a story of the implications of displacement for those facing persecution during the Holocaust. It’s a story of the power of a fighting spirit. And as the co-creator and producer of the musical Moses Man explains, it’s also a story that connects to our nation’s current political climate, from anti-semitic hatred to the refugee crisis. So what was once a personal story is now one that Haber wants to personalize for everyone and she’s doing it through a week-long multi arts event. Deborah Haber joins this edition of Need to Know to share more about Finding Home: Shine the Light (in Rochester March 23 - April 1).

There were rumblings she might make a run for Congress in 2016 by seeking the 25th Congressional District seat long-held by Democrat Louise Slaughter. But for now, Mayor Lovely Warren has her eyes set on another four years as the leader of the City of Rochester. And she’s got some competition. Monroe County Legislator James Sheppard, former television journalist Rachel Barnhart and businessman Alex White are all vying for the job of mayor. Is the work of her current tenure enough to pull off another victory? Mayor Lovely Warren joins this edition of Need to Know to to answer that question and more.

Lovely Warren says she never runs from a fight. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll hear how she plans to seek a re-election victory in a battle she anticipates will be a tough one - the battle for Rochester Mayor.

Also on the show, in the midst of weeks of anti-semitic rhetoric a Rochester woman shines a light and draws a deep connection between the Holocaust and the refugee crisis of today and she’s doing it through art. And our region happens to be home to some pretty brilliant young people. Don’t miss the launch of our new series Top of the Class. You’ll get to meet high school seniors making a lasting imprint. 

Watch Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer Thursdays at 8pm on WXXI-TV, Channel 21.1 and Cable 11 or 1221.

There’s some debate over America’s favorite pastimes, but dining out, is holding its own next to football and binge-watching TV shows. Helene Biandudi Hofer recently visited a restaurant in Rochester hoping to solve any debate over where to eat. As she learned this isn’t just any restaurant, but a place where dreams and a mean dish of jerk chicken are being made every day.

For some, traveling throughout Rochester using anything but a car is unthinkable. For others, it’s a necessity, a way of life or a hope. According to national surveys and studies, including one from the Brookings Institution, people want more walkable cities in the US. In addition, Brookings found more than half of millennials surveyed want to live places where they don’t need access to a car.

Examining transportation and mobility issues is the focus of a film series called Rochester Street Films. The first event in the series this year takes place on March 15 with a focus on: “Moving Beyond the Automobile.” On this edition of Need to Know, leaders from the non-profit Reconnect Rochester (producer of Rochester Street Films) and filmmakers involved in the educational movie series discuss their short films and the work needed to create a community connecting all people through a robust transportation network.

In the media world, journalists aim to cover the news, not become news. They work to gain trust and access to key sources and stories, not become barred and banned from voices the public needs to hear from. Restricting media outlets from access to politicians, law enforcement agents, education leaders and others is an ongoing problem for journalists, including those in the Rochester region. On this edition of Need to Know, Rochester journalists and news directors dig into the access issue beyond the headlines as of late.

Barring access for some reporters to the White House isn’t new and it isn’t just a national media issue. On this edition of Need to Know local journalists and news directors explain how restricting access in the Rochester region ultimately impacts transparency and much more.

Have you ever tried getting around Rochester without a car? Three local filmmakers bring you into their world to get a glimpse of what it’s like to move beyond the automobile.

It was semi-retired renowned film critic and writer, Jack Garner, who said: “I’ve been on top of Mount Everest. I’ve flown around Big Ben with Peter Pan...and I’ve stormed the beaches of Normandy in Saving Private Ryan.” Garner says movies have the power to transport us to places we never imagined we could see or visit. And he says the key to a worthwhile journey for the movie-watcher is all about originality of ideas in the film. With the Academy Awards right around the corner, Jack Garner joins this segment of Need to Know to share his thoughts on the nominated films this year and the ones you must-see before Oscar night on Sunday, February 26.

There’s a growing trend in American schools: uniforms. For a number of public school students gone are the days of picking out your favorite outfits or feverishly searching for something to wear to school. This move has its share of critics and supporters. On this edition of Need to Know, WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons looks into area dress code changes and how they’re being received by kids and families.

Pages